I love to cook but I am not much of a baker. While I have taken pizza making classes and bread making classes, I don’t think I’ve ever made either. And though I love pies (which would pair nicely with ice cream I frequently make), I can count on one hand the number of pies I’ve made. Why? I have dough-phobia.
That’s right. Fear of dough, or at least of making it. I worry my end-product will be inedible: crusts too dry, loaves too dense, pizza dough too mushy. Too brown? Not brown enough. On top of this, the perfection aspect of crusts, in particular, makes my hands tremble. Cute little lattices or scallop-edged crusts seem so fussy.
So that’s why the idea of making galettes has appealed to me for quite some time. Rustic, free-form and imperfect: now there’s dough I could learn to love. I finally decided to give galettes a go.
A few leeks in the garden were ready for picking and my Walla Walla sweet onions were also coming in nicely. I remembered a recipe from my old Deborah Madison cookbook that would handily transfer my garden alliums into galette gastronomy.
Poor Big Papa. I sweated and fretted as I went about making the dough, rolling it out and filling it with my precious garden cargo. Should I have a back-up plan for dinner? Was my galette going to get the green light?
The answer: YES! My, oh, my. The dough was crispy where it should be crispy, chewy where it should be chewy, and the perfect foil for the creamy goat cheese and savory leek-onion filling nestled inside. Galettes are definitely a go from now on.
Leek, Walla Walla Onion and Goat Cheese Galette
2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 to ½ cup ice water, as needed
Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press into a disk and refrigerate for fifteen minutes if the butter feels soft.
6 large leeks, including an inch of the green (*I combined a few leeks with a few Walla Walla sweet onions)
3 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
1 egg beaten
3 tablespoons chopped parsley or chopped tarragon
1/2 cup soft goat cheese (you could also use Ricotta Salata or feta, though I prefer the creamy texture of the goat cheese)
Slice leeks/Walla Walla onions in circles about an inch thick. You should end up with about six cups.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the leeks/onions, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Stew over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender, about twelve minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until it’s reduced, then add the cream and cook until it just coast the leeks and little liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper, and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of the tarragon or parsley.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough for one large galette. Place unbleached parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put the rolled out dough on top of the parchment paper and spread the leek-onion mixture on top, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Crumble the cheese on the top and then fold the dough over the filling. Brush with the reserved egg and bake until the crust is browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove, scatter remaining parsley over the top, and serve.
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian for Everyone by Deborah Madison
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